Forget Florida, here are the 24 best places to retire around the world

New Zealand and Australia top the list.

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New Zealand and Australia top the list.
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©Simon McGill/Getty Images/Moment Open

  • Healthcare, affordability, happiness, and climate are all important to consider when choosing a country to live in.
  • Retirees traditionally prefer places with good climate, but may trade in warm weather for a strong healthcare system.
  • New Zealand and Australia top the list of best countries to retire in.

Florida may be the best place to retire in America, but the sunshine state – and the US as a whole – isn’t that impressive from a global perspective.

As part of its series on best countries, U.S. News created a list of the best countries for a comfortable retirement and the US ranks at No. 24.

Unlike working years, retirement is often filled with trips to the doctor’s office and leisure time. In the twilight of life, low-cost happiness is also an important benchmark. Not to mention good weather.

Several trends emerged from the list. Affordability seems to be a trade-off with healthcare; generally, where healthcare is better, affordability dropped. Notable exceptions are the United States, Greece, and Italy, which have below average affordability and healthcare. No country on the list received above average rankings in both categories.

And while tropical locations scored highly on the happiness mark, less-than-desirable weather isn’t always a negative contributor. For instance, a few Nordic countries have a strong presence on this ranking in spite of poor marks for weather.

Below, check out the 24 countries around the world that are best for retirees. Each of the four measures is ranked on a 10-point scale – the higher the score, the better.


24. United States

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REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Healthcare: 3.7

Affordability: 0.8

Happiness: 3.4

Weather: 2.5


23. Mexico

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REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Healthcare: 0.1

Affordability: 8.4

Happiness: 5.4

Weather: 7.0


22. France

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Flickr/Kevin Gessner

Healthcare: 7.8

Affordability: 0.1

Happiness: 4.3

Weather: 5.4


21. United Kingdom

Healthcare: 8.6

Affordability: 0.3

Happiness: 3.2

Weather: 0.6


20. Thailand

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Anna Jedynak / Shutterstock

Healthcare: 0.2

Affordability: 10.0

Happiness: 6.0

Weather: 7.0


19. Costa Rica

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cjsingh/Flickr

Healthcare: 0.2

Affordability: 5.5

Happiness: 6.9

Weather: 9.1


18. Finland

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Flickr/ninara

Healthcare: 9.7

Affordability: 0.3

Happiness: 8.9

Weather: 0.8


17. Dominican Republic

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Shutterstock/Daniel-Alvarez

Healthcare: 0.1

Affordability: 6.3

Happiness: 6.1

Weather: 8.4


16. Austria

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REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

Healthcare: 8.5

Affordability: 0.2

Happiness: 5.5

Weather: 3.9


15. Greece

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Healthcare: 1.1

Affordability: 5.4

Happiness: 4.4

Weather: 9.9


14. Netherlands

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Libby Kane/Business Insider

Healthcare: 9.5

Affordability: 0.2

Happiness: 8.8

Weather: 3.4


13. Norway

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Graeme Maclean/Creative Commons

Healthcare: 9.7

Affordability: 0.1

Happiness: 7.9

Weather: 0.7


12. Panama

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Shutterstock/Rob Hainer

Healthcare: 0.2

Affordability: 3.7

Happiness: 3.5

Weather: 6.6


11. Denmark

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Shutterstock/S-F

Healthcare: 10.0

Affordability: 0.1

Happiness: 8.7

Weather: 1.8


10. Italy

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Flickr/Francisco Anzola

Healthcare: 4.2

Affordability: 0.6

Happiness: 8.9

Weather: 8.8


9. Sweden

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Visit Abisko

Healthcare: 10.0

Affordability: 0.1

Happiness: 8.5

Weather: 1.2


8. Ireland

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Shutterstock

Healthcare: 6.4

Affordability: 0.5

Happiness: 7.5

Weather: 3.4


7. Luxembourg

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REUTERS/Yves Herman

Healthcare: 7.0

Affordability: 0.0

Happiness: 5.1

Weather: 2.2


6. Canada

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Montreal Tourism Guide

Healthcare: 9.9

Affordability: 1.0

Happiness: 8.4

Weather: 1.8


5. Portugal

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Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Healthcare: 3.1

Affordability: 4.7

Happiness: 7.6

Weather: 10.0


4. Spain

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Shutterstock

Healthcare: 5.1

Affordability: 3.1

Happiness: 9.2

Weather: 9.6


3. Switzerland

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Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Healthcare: 9.9

Affordability: 0.1

Happiness: 8.7

Weather: 3.7


2. Australia

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Simon McGill/Getty Images/Moment Open

Healthcare: 8.4

Affordability: 0.5

Happiness: 9.4

Weather: 7.4


1. New Zealand

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Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Healthcare: 8.1

Affordability: 0.6

Happiness: 10.0

Weather: 9.5